Long John Silvers Fish Recipe – Copycat

I bet you have always wanted to make Long John Silvers fish recipe, now you can with this copycat recipe. You can recreate this crispy fish batter at home.

Batter fried fish on parchment paper in a basket.

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Do you love this crispy batter-dipped fish? Crispy on the outside, with the fish cooked perfectly on the inside, it is hard to resist this fish.

Growing up this was a favorite restaurant of mine. I remember the day when the Long John Silver’s first opened in Pueblo, Colorado. My family got in the car, and we were soon munching on this fish.

This batter is very close to the Fish and Chips that are served overseas. What makes this recipe unique, is that the fish is crispy, but it isn’t done with a beer batter. Club soda is the key ingredient that makes this batter extra special.

The batter has both baking soda and baking powder in it, and when combined with the club soda, it gives the batter a special lift you will love.

Batter fried fish on parchment paper.

When you make this recipe at home, you can use any fish that you like. Long John Silver’s uses Wild-caught Alaskan Cod. I have made my recipe with cod I purchased at Costco.

I think this would work well with catfish or even tilapia, or any other white fish you may have. You may even want to check out my Long John Silvers Chicken recipe.

For frying, I used vegetable oil. I think peanut oil would also work well, but it is more expensive.

I use my T-fal FR8000 Oil Filtration Ultimate EZ Clean Easy to clean 3.5-Liter Fry Basket Stainless Steel Immersion Deep Fryer, 2.6-Pound, Silver. I like it because it regulates the heat very well, and it has a filter so you can reuse the oil.

I do have some tips on technique.

Make sure your fish pieces are no more than 3 ounces. When the fish is heavier it will immediately sink in the oil, and the batter may wrap itself around the heating elements of your fryer. If you are simply using a pot to heat your oil in, this may not be an issue.

I like to raise and lower the battered fish pieces a few times when I lower them into the oil, this way the batter can cook just a little, and the expansion of the batter is less troublesome. It isn’t difficult to do at all, but this batter does expand while cooking, it is one of the characteristics that make this batter so unique.

I hope you enjoy one of my childhood favorites. You could use this same batter to dip chicken tenders, shrimp, and even onion rings.

What to Serve with Fried Fish

Love fish? Try these great recipes!

Check out more of my easy seafood recipes and the best fast food recipes here on CopyKat!

Make the Long John Silvers Fish Recipe with this copycat recipe.

Long John Silvers Fish Batter Copycat Recipe

Long John Silvers Fish Batter recipe is perfect for fish, and so much more
4.68 from 100 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Long john Silvers Fish, Long John Silvers Fish Batter Copycat Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 458kcal


  • 2 pounds cod sliced into 3 ounce pieces (you can use other types of fish)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces club soda
  • Oil for frying


  • If you are not using a fryer, heat up 8 cups of vegetable oil in a heavy pot until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Make the batter by combining flour, corn starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, onion salt, paprika, ground black pepper. Stir to combine all dry ingredients. Add club soda to dry ingredients. The batter will foam, continue to stir. Drop pieces of fish into the batter. Coat fish with batter, drop into hot oil. Fry fish for 2 to 3 minutes or until the batter is golden and the fish pieces begin to float to the top of the oil. Drain fish on a wire rack.



Can’t Miss Cooking Tips

  • To keep the batter from sticking to the bottom of the basket, gently lower fish and hold it for a few seconds to allow it to form up a crust before dropping it into the basket.
  • You can swap the club soda for beer for a great flavor.
  • Have a little batter leftover? Slice up some onion rings, and make onion rings.


Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 1159mg | Potassium: 702mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Pacey

    4 stars
    I used this batter to make onion rings, fried zucchini, chicken tenders, shrimp, I even added cornmeal to the batter and made fried green tomatoes… The whole family gives it a thumbs-up 😊

  2. Jake ridings

    Used this batter on thin sliced zucchini and it took me back to druthers hot bar as a kid. Was awesome on green tomatoes. Thank you!!!

  3. Pacey

    This is a really good recipe. I had some onions I battered too and they’re a “thumbs-up” from the whole family (which is really saying something)

  4. Leigh Anne DelRay

    This was perfection. This seems to be the closest to Culver’s fish I have ever had. I am in love !
    Thank you. Only difference is that I used canola oil because I read Culver’s uses that and betting else was unchanged and it was delicious. Amazing. So happy I found this recipe.
    I made it too thick the first time and it was like too bready and not very crispy. So if anyone had that issues – add more club soda – make it thinner and you’ll be so happy!!! Crispy perfection.

  5. Jayden

    The fish they actually use, at least in 2022 and in Kansas, is Wild Alaskan Pollock… which is different from Cod fish. It is more soft in texture compared to Cod, which is more firm when cooked properly. They’re similar in crisp & bones though.

    • TONY

      Back in 1985 the local LJS I worked for we used cod fish, when I got my lunch/supper break I just went across the shopping center’s parking lot and went to Captain D’s, cause at the time they had the Captain’s Burger, all ways prefer beef over seafood.

  6. Candace

    If I use water how much and would it help bubble if I add the 2 teaspoons of vinger? Thank can’t wait to try.

  7. Vida

    Hello. I am so anxious to try this recipe–I love LJS but I was tired of driving to another town to get. I am wondering if this could be used for butterflied shrimp, too? Your thoughts?

    Thank you!

  8. Tori

    5 stars
    I added about a teaspoon or two of vinegar to the batter (also for flavor) and didn’t have any club soda, so I used regular cold water. I made chicken and onion rings. To make sure the batter stuck, I tossed everything in flour first. Perfect. Thank you.

  9. Diane Scott

    5 stars
    I used this recipe and adapted it to gluten-free using Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
    And oh my is it amazing!
    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    • Kayla

      5 stars
      While I love this recipe , has anyone tried to use an airfryer? I’m curious how it would turn out. I’ve never used a wet batter I’m the air y

  10. Eric Grinstead

    5 stars
    The fish from Long John silver’s is never placed in a brine it is cooked from a frozen steak that is already pre-cut dipped in a better and threw in the grease and fried until it is done that’s how the fish at Long John silver’s is cooked now the chicken at KFC is not put in brine all it is done is that it is battered dipped and it was some type of a brine solution and batter again and it’s cooked in a pressure cooker and chicken out and drained and then racked up and placed in a warmer that is how the chicken at KFC is prepared the only difference is that the flour at KFC is already seasoned they don’t do anything to it they just use it sifted and keep reusing it and the batter Long John silver’s is that they use it they have to season it now depending on who’s cooking depending on how salty the batter is and how crispy the fillets are that’s how they do it they don’t use any brine at all and neither facility.

  11. Linda

    We don’t eat fish, hardly at all,but love the chicken planks from LJS! Is this the same breading ? Cook it the same?

  12. Mazy G

    I would suggest modifying your recipe to heat the oil to 370 before adding the fish and the fish will cause the oil to drop to 350. Professional chefs use this method to prevent food from getting too greasy and to get the best crispy texture. Or as an experienced cook you may already do it without even needing to think about it.

  13. Barbara Christy

    5 stars
    The batter came out crispy and flavorful, we were very pleased with it and will be using the same batter with fish again tomorrow because we felt like it was just what we have been craving. We added Modelo dark beer , the same way we have done for years with other batters but did add a third of a cup of seltzer water too, just before dipping the fish in it. I did take note of other commenters about their perceived bland flavor so added a bit more paprika, which we buy probably 2 times a year so ours might be more flavorful than some others who might not use it much. Before battering, I blotted the fish well, sprinkled kosher salt over the fish, rolled them in corn starch (we always do that) and dipped and fried it. No changes to the recipe, it worked so well. My husband always does the frying in the back yard in the cast iron wok (besides it being in the 90s outside) so for us, this was done just the way we always do, just with a better batter.

  14. Margaret

    5 stars
    This recipe is a 5 star. The best battered fish. Thank you so much. I’ve shared with others and they love it too.

  15. Nancy

    2 stars
    I was very disappointed, it looked beautiful but it was not crispy. I followed directions to the T, didnt taste anything like LJS

    • Stephanie Manley

      I am very sorry you were disappointed in the recipe, most people have good luck. So you said the batter wasn’t crispy, perhaps cooking it for a little longer would have made the batter crisp up further into the breading.

    • Amanda

      First of all cause it’s the wrong fish our USUAL fish is Alaskan White Fish NOT COD fish! We do offer cod fish but that it not the fish we are famous for! Skip trying to make it and come to our restaurant:)

      • Tommy Harlan

        5 stars
        I would come to your restaurant like we did three to four times a week because my child loves long John silvers. Your restaurants all closed down in Amarillo Texas. I’ve gone to Clovis to get him fish, but now I just follow this recipe and we’re doing just fine

      • Teresa Tackett

        Cod is what LJS was famous for up until about 4 years ago. They changed it and started using a much cheaper fish, was so disappointing. I rarely go there anymore.

      • DavidF

        Miss Amanda,
        I used to love LJS, but you keep raising the prices and don’t give good coupons. I love the 8 for $8.88, but that only happens in a “Blue Moon”. And, you just charge so much for stuff — like big order of fries for $ 4 bucks. Really !?!? That’s why the LJS by us in Humble, Texas, is always empty. They’re only got customers when coupons come out. That’s because you charge outrageous now — for what you get. It’s just not worth it when you have a big family. That’s why so many people are cooking at home now and learning from these Copycat Experts.

    • Leigh Anne DelRay

      I bet it’s because you were making it too thick. I did that the first time. Add more clib soda and thin it more and you’ll be so happy

  16. Lorie

    I, too, worked at LJS back in the day, a and we drizzled batter into the oil deliberately to make extra “crispiest” that people paid extra for now. Back then, we just threw a handful in.

  17. Bo Tibbs

    did you use all 16oz of club soda in mix, could get batter to texture i wanted nor stick to cod,what did i do wrong.Thanks,Bo

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